Summer at Sheldon

Mon 07 August 2017

A colourful summer workweek included blessing the new barn, rededication of the community, dry concerts and wet concerts in the theatre, lots of practical work around the site, and much more ...

Every summer, volunteers from around the country gather at Sheldon for 10 days of fun and hard work together. 

At the end of last year we built a new barn as part of the infrastructure for caring for the 45 acres of grounds at Sheldon that are so beneficial for guests to enjoy. The celebrations included a procession (tractors and a trombone, choir and drums), a liturgy with a range of sound-effects, and the story of the barn, a blessing by the Bishop of Exeter, music (Tedburn Community Choir, The B Minors from County Kerry, Sue and Trevor from Worcester), dancing (called by Lynda and Chris Barley) and a delicious hog roast. Quite a night.

The Open Air Theatre concerts were enormous fun once again - well, at least the three that we saved from the challenging weather! It was sad to lose the fourth, but events all across the county were cancelled in the downpours that weekend.Looking back at the records it's only the second concert we've lost to rain since about 2004, so not bad going really. 

The Community Rededication is always a very special occasion for us. We perfectly filled Sheldon's new marquee with many longstanding Friends who we know pray regularly for the Community and our ministry. Here's the liturgy we used this year when the service incorporated a Eucharist at which Claire Robson from Bath Abbey presided. The service included prayers for Alison Wedgbury as she prepares for the next steps in her ministry beyond Sheldon this autumn, and welcoming Tim, Claire, Isabelle and Matilda Waller into our life and ministry here.

And then there was all the extra work around the site. Hacking, harvesting, weeding, painting indoors and out, moving things, cleaning things, cooking for the team and for guests, hosting, stewarding and parking. We celebrated Mary, Martha and Lazarus and illegally translated St James. A very big thank you to everyone who took part. Here's a lovely email from participants "From our side of the fence, many thanks to you and all The Community for organising such a great 10 days. You do all the hard work, and we do our best to make it a success. A great week of celebration, gentle Holiness, laughter, meeting the Gang, work, music, meeting new friends etc. Thank you All."

If you'd like to be part of workweek 2018 then do talk to us.

For more stories and images check out our Theatre and Sheldon facebook pages

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